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Summer Library Program: FAQ & Planning Calendar

This guide covers everything you need to plan, promote, and execute your summer library program for all ages!

CSLP Upcoming Themes

2020: Imagine Your Story

With artist LeUyen Pham at the helm, 2020 is shaping up to be an outstanding program year for summer reading. With themes of fairytales, mythology, and fantasy, libraries of all shapes and sizes will have a magical starting point to dazzle their communities!

2021: Tails and Tales

Few children’s illustrators are as uniquely suited to an animals themed program as Salina Yoon. Picture her work with ducks, penguins, and porcupines! Are you excited yet? It is quite possible that new levels of adorableness will be discovered in 2021.

2018 Libraries Rock!

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CLSP) is happy to announce that for the 2018 artist for the Children and Early Literacy programs is Brian Pinkney

“Acclaimed artist Brian Pinkney is the illustrator of several highly-praised picture books including The Faithful Friend, In the Time of the Drums, and Duke Ellington. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and holds a master's degree in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Andrea, with whom he often collaborates, and his two children.

Brian has won numerous awards including two Caldecott Honors, four Coretta Scott King Honors and a Coretta Scott King Award, and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award. He has been exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The School of Visual Arts, and The Society of Illustrators. “

We are excited to be working with Brian to provide the music themed artwork for the 2018 program, “Libraries Rock!”

Summer is Year Round! Planning Calendar

Summer is Year Round!

Planning Calendar and Member Library Checklist


Our summer program year begins and ends with the statistics collection for the current year and the materials order for the next year.

Summer Programming requires year-round planning and deadlines. Download these documents for use in your library.


Frequently Asked Questions

Paper Materials & Statistics:

How do I order summer paper materials?
Orders for summer materials are collected when you submit your program statistics. The order form typically opens in late-August and closes in mid-October.

What paper materials do I get at no cost?
Posters and bookmarks (packs of 200) for children's, early literacy, teen and adult programs are provided to MLS members at no cost through generous support from the Boston Bruins along with funding from MLS and the MBLC. The quantity may be limited due to population size.

Why didn’t I get any posters or bookmarks?
The poster order is included in the annual Summer Library Program Statistics & Evaluation form. The form is generally available by late-August with a deadline of sometime in mid-October. If you didn’t submit your numbers to us, it means you didn’t order posters!

In what format are the manuals?
The manual is available online using a unique access code. You can then download the files (generally PDF and image files) and share them with other staff at your library using Dropbox, flashdrives, or storing on your own server.

Do I need to pay for shipping of paper materials?
No, MLS has absorbed the shipping costs of the paper products we provide. If you order your incentives (tshirts, bags, etc.) from Demco, your library will be responsible for 100% of the shipping costs. 

What kind of statistics do you need at the end of the summer?
If you are the designated summer contact for your library you will be emailed a link to an online statistics and order form near the end of summer. On this form you will provide your summer program statistics and order materials for the following summer.

We ask for:

  • Number of participants: both online and paper
  • Number of programs and their attendance (Programs include both performer and library type of programs)
  • Age ranges we ask for include: children, teens, adults, and all-ages (multigenerational)

All libraries that participate in the statewide summer program are REQUIRED to submit stats to MLS.

Can you clarify what we need to count for programs and attendance?

We ask for the number of “performance and library hosted programs (storytimes, craft programs, etc)” for Children, Teen, Adult, and All-Ages. The next question is usually the attendance figure. We are asking for the total attendance at each of those age ranges. So for a program intended for children, you would count everyone who attended, including adults, teens, and children. If your program is aimed at families or considered "multigenerational" you may now add a figure for "all-ages".

What if I am at a branch library?
You will need to bundle your stats with the main branch. We can’t accept separate orders for branches – we need one order per organization. You will get one shipment for paper materials and one manual code. We also ask for one summer library program contact person who will be responsible for disseminating summer information and materials amongst all branches.

Artwork, Copyright & Credit Lines:

Do we really have to follow the CSLP Rules of Use?
Yes! Due to copyright and contractual arrangements between CSLP, the exclusive vendor, and the artists, CSLP members are expected to be aware of the rules of use. The best practice is to check the CSLP Rules of Use and check for changes and updates.

I need to do my publicity brochures! Where is the clip art?
Clip art images are in the manual. There is clip art with the copyright embedded for online use and we encourage you to use those images for posting to social media and for use on your website. Please review and use the CSLP Rules of Use.

Is it OK to edit/alter the CSLP artwork—such as changing the colors or adding color to the line art or Photoshopping a piece of art to remove part of it or to add a new element to it?
No, it is not acceptable to alter (other than resizing) the CSLP artwork. The Rules of Use say you may not alter/manipulate CSLP artwork in any manner that changes its original appearance.

Is there a credit line we need to use on our publicity materials recognizing the Massachusetts Library System and other organizations? 
We have the wording for the credit lines on the Summer Library Program Guide.

Do I have to credit the Bruins?
Yes, you do have to credit our statewide sponsor, the Boston Bruins. The Bruins pay for your paper materials, provide prizes awarded statewide, offer incentives and programs for participating libraries and promote the statewide summer library program. Without their support, MLS would not be able to provide program basics at no cost to libraries. Our partnership with the Bruins has also elevated our program’s visibility throughout the state and beyond.

If we just use the slogan, but none of graphics, do we still need to add the credit line?
Yes. MLS has paid for your membership to CSLP, which in turn created the program and theme for you to use. Plus, if you hang up the posters or give out the bookmarks, it’s only appropriate that all sponsorship parties are credited.

I want to use the same fonts that are in the slogans and clip art. How do I do that?
Go to the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) web site. If you haven’t already, register by providing a username and password. Approval may take up to a few days but when you are approved you’ll be able to enjoy many member benefits including access to the fonts. Fonts can be found under Member Libraries - Proprietary Downloads.

If your question hasn’t been answered here, please check out the rest of the Summer Library Program Guide! If you can’t find the answer there, then email April Mazza, MLS Consultant and CSLP State Representative.